Like most Mother’s Days, ours came and passed in the usual way - with certain expectations that are almost impossible to meet, because, well, you are still mothering your way through the day.
A month ago, I (Chelsea) moved back into the studio after 2+ years of working from home. Over the last couple of years, school and childcare haven't always been consistent for our family. We needed flexibility to get through, so it made sense to move my work home.
We've been grateful for our ability to adjust day to day without permission from anyone, but it has been challenging to live in a state of continuous adaptation. For the most part, we have been buoyed up by our clients and their encouragement as we rolled through the cumulative trials of this time.
Being back in the studio has its pros and cons. One of the biggest pros has been returning to my in-person yoga practice each morning before work. I have a 20+ year practice informed by many teachers, but I now practice at an island studio that is within walking distance from Grain and led by a teacher who has studied with everyone from Bikram Choudhury to Nevine Michaan.
It sounds silly when I hear myself say that yoga has saved my life, but it is not untrue. It has been there for me through the biggest heartbreaks of my 41 years. It was with me last week as we weeped through the collective trauma of this latest mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
Yoga has taught me how to live in my body - something I somehow unlearned as I transitioned from childhood. Laying on the carpeted floor (pre-yoga mat days) in shavasana for the first time at the Integral Yoga Institute in New York with the subway rumble below was a profound moment for me. It was the simple invitation - the permission - to be still. I had no sense of how much I needed that, but I am back to walking to the yoga studio everyday to feel it.
When I make it to my practice, I have done the one thing that makes me feel grounded in the present moment in the home of my body. From that place, I have no issue with being in service - to my clients, my family, my community - for the rest of the day.
When James and I share that we have worked in a creative partnership for the past 14 years, we more often than not get comments about how the person inquiring could never work with their partner. We get that. It is not for everyone. My parents worked together too and it did not end well.
We don’t know what makes it different for us. Maybe it comes down to the fact that we have different interests and skills within the business. We have also found a way to build something that gives us each our own space to learn and grow.
Father’s Day is coming up in a few weeks. As always, James wants a day or two for a “lone wolf” adventure. He is a long-distance runner. He would add “very out of practice” since the start of the pandemic - but still, that is his thing. If he has dates on the calendar to get into the mountains, it seems like anything else is possible in our everyday life together.
I guess what we are getting at - as we know this is far from a furniture newsletter at this point - is unbroken practice. It is about how you build a partnership, a business, a family differently when you try to take the long view, thinking generationally into the future while being honest about what you need in the present moment to fuel that incremental progress.
Happy belated Mother’s Day and early Father’s Day to all the parents and caregivers out there. We know it is a bittersweet time. We hope you all have that one thing that keeps you grounded - even if you are out of practice.
- Chelsea & James
PS If you are looking for a way to take civil action against gun violence, here is a great place to start. We have learned that calling your representatives is the most effective way to have your voice heard. Here is a link to find yours. Here is a link to a basic script that you can use. The phones are busy, so you will probably get a voicemail. Don’t forget to leave your contact information. You can do this!